Tribals continued their protest at the border of Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh for the 15th day on Wednesday against the construction of a bridge on the Indravati river which, they say, would benefit the mining companies, but harm the environment and affect the interests of local inhabitants.
Government officials feel that tribals would end their protests once the benefits of the bridge are explained to them. Additional Collector of Bhamragarh, Shubham Gupta said the bridge would bring connectivity between Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh over the Indravati river which acts as a natural border between Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra.
But members of tribal communities of Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh are camping on the state border for the last two weeks to protest against the construction of a bridge across the Indravati river. They say, “With no basic facilities here, this will facilitate loot of Jal-Jungle-Zameen.”
The tribals are staging a dharna on the exposed bed of the Indravati river which acts as the natural boundary between Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh.
Activists and agitators fear that the bridge will only benefit corporates and will destroy the local environment and ecosystem.
Activist Lalsu Nogoti said,” The protesters feel the bridge will help mining projects and huge companies that seek to profit from the exploitation of local natural resources.”
“People from 20-25 villages from Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra are here. There are no basic facilities here even after 75 years of independence. Such bridges are only to facilitate the loot of ‘Jal-Jungle-Zameen’. The protest began on Jan 4. We intend to protest indefinitely,” said Lalsu Nogoti, tribal leader
However, government officials are optimistic that the tribals will take back the agitation once the benefits are explained.
Additional Collector of Bhamragarh, Shubham Gupta said, “As far as I know, it’s being built in the Chhattisgarh area. With this people on the Maha-Chhattisgarh border won’t face difficulty in commuting. I don’t think halting the construction is right. We’ll talk to people and emphasise why the bridge is important.”
Gupta said, “This bridge will connect both the states. All the tribals of Maharashtra who are participating in this protest will be explained to them about the importance of the bridge, after which their opposition will end.” (ANI)
This report is filed by ANI news service. TheNewsMill holds no responsibility for this content.